Everything we know about the 5G iPhone 12 and iPhone mini
Apple today introduced the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini, as well as the new Pro and Pro Max devices.
The best news? Apple indicated that both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini offer pretty much the same features, albeit in different sizes.
The very short version
- With 5G
- New design
- A14 Bionic chip
- Advanced dual-camera system
- Super Retina XDR display
- Ceramic Shield front cover
- Apple is also removing the power adapter and EarPods
- Available in blue, green, black, white, and PRODUCT(RED).
- iPhone 12 pre-orders Friday, October 16, with availability beginning Friday, October 23.
- iPhone 12 mini pre-order begins Friday, November 6, in stores from November 13.
- For a limited time, eligible customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Mac can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free and three months of Apple Arcade for free.
What Apple said
“The arrival of 5G marks the beginning of a new era for iPhone and we’re thrilled to bring these impressive new capabilities to our customers with iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s recently promoted senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
“We’re once again pushing the boundaries to deliver incredible computational photography advancements, Super Retina XDR displays, and the biggest leap in durability in iPhone history with the new Ceramic Shield front cover. Available in two great sizes, iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini take design to a new level in a new form factor that’s as beautiful as it is durable, and makes it easier than ever for customers to find the perfect iPhone to fit their lifestyle.”
What about 5G?
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini bring 5G to iPhones. The company says the devices provide the most 5G bands on any smartphone and broadest 5G coverage worldwide.
U.S. models support millimetre wave, the higher frequency version of 5G which can achieve speeds up to 4Gbps, even in densely populated areas.
The devices also feature Smart Data mode, which extends battery life by intelligently assessing 5G needs and balancing data usage, speed, and power in real time.
What about the A14 Bionic?
There’s no denying the power of the 5nm A14 Bionic chip. It’s fast – the chip provides the fastest CPU and GPU by up to 50 percent compared to the fastest competing smartphone chips, enabling console-quality gaming experiences, powerful computational photography, and more, while delivering great battery life.
For machine learning (ML), the A14 Bionic features a 16-core Neural Engine capable of completing 11 trillion operations per second.
That’s 11 terraflops – the kind of performance that not so long ago one required banks of supercomputers to achieve — in a phone. These days this just means you get an iPhone that’s 80% faster than last years.
What about the camera?
Both devices have pretty good dual-camera system, but this is augmented by Apple’s imaging intelligence inside of the A14 Bionic chip
The camera itself features both an Ultra Wide camera and new Wide camera with an ƒ/1.6 aperture, the fastest yet on iPhone, providing 27 percent more light for even more amazing low-light photos and videos.
But it’s the computational photography that takes these things higher with Night mode and faster-performing Deep Fusion now on all cameras — TrueDepth, Wide, and Ultra Wide — for improved photos in any environment.
For most of us, this means brighter pictures and better contrast for photos shot in low-light settings with Night mode, and more texture and less noise in Deep Fusion photos. The devices also boast Smart HDR 3, which uses ML to intelligently adjust the white balance, contrast, texture, and saturation of a photo for remarkably natural-looking images.
Result? Better photos than you may have ever thought possible on a smartphone.
But they also do video
Apple’s smartphones now shoot HDR video with Dolby Vision – which is great if you also use TVs that support Dolby Vision. Thing is, you can also edit films you capture in Dolby Vision directly on your iPhone, which is just a huge deal for film makers.
Dolby Vision grading is processed live while recording, and sustained during editing, whether in the Photos app or iMovie. Both iPhone 12 models offer improved cinematic video stabilisation and Night mode Time-Lapse. The latter delivers longer exposure times for sharper videos, better light trails, and smoother exposure in low-light scenarios when used with a tripod.
What about the design?
The new design of the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 and 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini are as beautiful as they are durable.3 And iPhone 12 mini is the smallest, thinnest, and lightest 5G smartphone in the world, re-architected to pack all the technology of iPhone 12 into a delightfully compact size, while still delivering an impressively large and immersive edge-to-edge display.
Both models feature a sleek new flat-edge design with an aerospace-grade aluminium enclosure and combined with the Ceramic Shield front cover, which goes beyond glass by adding a new high temperature crystallisation step that grows nano-ceramic crystals within the glass matrix, increases drop performance by 4x.
So you won’t break these things quite as often…
What about the display?
OK, we didn’t get 120mhz on the Pros, but we do get Super Retina XDR displays on the 12 nd 12 mini. Both models deliver a 2 million-to-1 contrast ratio for true blacks, and an immersive HDR viewing experience for high-definition video, photos with more detail, and nearly twice the peak brightness of iPhone 11.
The phones have an industry-leading IP68 rating for water resistance up to 6 meters for up to 30 minutes, and are protected against everyday spills, including coffee and soda.
A new connection: MagSafe
Apple has also introduced a new standard aimed at third party developers it calls MagSafe, which it says improves wireless charging for a better, more efficient experience, and supports an ecosystem of easy-to-attach accessories.
MagSafe, the company says, delivers a unique experience to iPhone, featuring an array of magnets around the wireless charging coil, optimised for alignment and efficiency, that perfectly connects to iPhone every time. MagSafe chargers efficiently provide up to 15W of power, while still accommodating existing Qi-enabled devices.
The company introduced its own solutions based on this (MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger for use with iPhone and Apple Watch, as well as new silicone, leather, and clear cases that snap onto the back of iPhone, and a leather wallet), but confimed it expects third-party manufacturers to introduce their own.
MagSafe Charger, Leather Wallet with MagSafe, and iPhone 12 Silicone Case and Clear Case will be available beginning Friday, October 16. iPhone 12 Leather Case will be available beginning Friday, November 6. MagSafe Duo Charger and Leather Sleeve will be available at a later date.
What about the environment?
Apple VP Lisa Jackson climbed the roof of Apple HQ to declare once again Apple’s total commitment to the environment.
This year’s big news is that all iPhone 12 models are made with 100 percent recycled rare earth elements in all magnets, including the new camera, Taptic Engine, and MagSafe, as well as Apple’s MagSafe accessories. That’s significant given the trade in conflict minerals.
Apple is already carbon neutral for global corporate operations, and by 2030, plans to have net zero climate impact across the entire business, which includes manufacturing supply chains and all product life cycles, so every device it sells will be 100 percent carbon neutral.
No power adapter or headphones
Apple is also removing the power adapter and EarPods from iPhone packaging.
Pricing and Availability
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB models in blue, green, black, white, and PRODUCT(RED), starting at $799 and $699, respectively.
Apple also introduced the HomePod mini and iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max.